Villa 1 Nyau, a Harare-based traditional dance group, came out tops at the Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival which was held at the Harare Gardens on Saturday afternoon.
The group beat nine others and walked away with the prize money of $4 000. Umkhathi Theatre Works, a sepata dance group which was representing the Bulawayo Province, settled for second position and walked away with $3 000 while Budiriro Cultural Arts (Mashonaland West), a mbakumba dance group, came third and walked away $2 000 richer.
The other groups which participated were Redwing Mine (Manicaland), Zevezeve (Mashonaland), Black Amakhwezi (Matabeleland North), How Mine (Matabeleland South), Lundi Dance Group (Masvingo), Mangoma Ngaatsve (Mashonaland Central) and Malawi Globe and Phoenix (Midlands).
The groups which were drawn from the country’s 10 provinces performed to different traditional dances including sepata, jerusarema, amabhiza, chihoda Tonga, bira, dinhe and gure. The music mainly depicted popular dances in the groups’ provinces.
Villa 1 Nyau left many clamouring for more as their outfit and dances were outstanding. Despite the hot weather, competition was stiff as the other groups were quite energetic.
However, Villa 1’s stunning performance revealed that they had the skill and knowledge of their genre. Chibuku Neshamwari is a traditional dance competition which caters for contestants above 18 years of age.
Inaugurated in 2001, the competition is a collaborative effort between Delta Beverages and the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe. Its aim is to promote and develop music groups with an ability to excel.
Patricia Murambinda, Delta beverages marketing manager, said this year’s finals marked the Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival’s 46th anniversary.
“This festival is Zimbabwe’s national, annual, prime dance competition that underlines the country’s rich cultural heritage,” said Murambinda.
The competition ran concurrently with a draw for the Chibuku Bumper Harvest promotion and people from different parts of the country won cars, among other prizes.